Two insurgent commanders hunted by the New Zealand SAS have admitted they were present in a village raided during Operation Burnham.
In the first public account of the insurgents’ movements, they have contradicted some of the locals’ claims about the 2010 raid, in which six civilians were killed and 15 injured. The raid is the subject of a current Government inquiry sparked by the book Hit & Run.
In interviews with Stuff, both Qari Miraj and Maulawi Naimatullah admitted to being in or around the village of Naik during the night raid, which was led by the SAS with US and Afghan allies. …
Miraj and Naimatullah’s admissions contradict the accounts of numerous residents from the village of Khak Khuday Dad, a few hundred metres from Naik. Those villagers have maintained for years that there were no insurgents in either their village or Naik when Operation Burnham took place.
Miraj told Stuff that he, Naimatullah and two of their bodyguards had been at Naik for “two nights and one day” and that “everybody knew that”.
“Everybody [in Naik and Khak Khuday Dad] knew that I was there because I was going to Naik village. I was going five times a day to pray in the mosque, and everybody knew that Qari Miraj and [one of his bodyguards] Maulawi Abdul Khaliq were guests at the house of Maulawi Naimatullah.”
This is a stunning revelation. Kudos to Jon Stephenson for reporting this new testimony, even though it contradicts a key claim in the book he co-authored with Nicky Hager.
It may not be a coincidence that the villagers have now pulled out of the inquiry into the claims.
It says something that it turns out the insurgents may be more truthful than the villagers!